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Severn Trent water pipes are seen at the company's sewage treatment works in Barnhurst, England, in an undated handout photo released to Reuters on June 5, 2008.
Severn Trent water pipes are seen at the company's sewage treatment works in Barnhurst, England, in an undated handout photo released to Reuters on June 5, 2008.
(Handout/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

OMERS consortium bid for Severn Trent has legs

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Could someone in Coventry please pick up the phone? That was the message in Friday’s announcement from the consortium stalking Severn Trent. LongRiver Partners offered to buy the U.K. water utility based in the Midlands city for £22 a share, or £5.3-billion ($8.4-billion). The offer is conditional, but it is the first one the bidder has made public; two quieter approaches since mid-May were rebuffed by the target’s board. At a one-third premium to Severn Trent’s average six-month share price to May 13, this one merits fuller consideration.